Porto is a charming city located in the north of Portugal, known for its stunning architecture, rich culture, and delicious food and wine. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, there are plenty of things to see and do in Porto. Here are some of the top highlights of the city.
Visit the historic Ribeira District
The Ribeira District is one of the oldest and most picturesque areas of Porto, located on the banks of the Douro River. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-visit for its colorful buildings, narrow streets, and lively atmosphere. Take a stroll along the waterfront, admire the views of the river and the Dom Luís I Bridge, and stop for a meal or a drink at one of the many restaurants and cafes.
Explore the magnificent São Bento Train Station
São Bento Train Station is a beautiful example of Beaux-Arts architecture and is considered one of the most beautiful train stations in the world. The station’s main hall is adorned with over 20,000 azulejos (traditional Portuguese blue and white tiles), depicting historical scenes and local traditions. Be sure to look up at the ceiling to see the impressive stained-glass windows.
Discover the Clérigos Tower and Church
The Clérigos Tower is one of the most iconic landmarks of Porto and offers stunning panoramic views of the city from its top. Visitors can climb the 240 steps to the top of the tower for a breathtaking view of the city’s rooftops, the Douro River, and the Atlantic Ocean. Next to the tower is the Clérigos Church, an impressive Baroque masterpiece that should not be missed.
Try the famous Port wine
No visit to Porto is complete without sampling some of the city’s famous Port wine. Take a tour of one of the many port wine cellars located across the Douro River in Vila Nova de Gaia, where you can learn about the history of port wine and taste different varieties. Many of the cellars offer guided tours, including Taylor’s, Graham’s, and Sandeman.
Visit the contemporary art museum, Serralves
Serralves Museum is a must-visit for modern and contemporary art lovers. This museum features an impressive collection of contemporary art, including works by local and international artists. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions and events throughout the year, so be sure to check the schedule before your visit.
Take a stroll in the gardens of Palácio de Cristal
Palácio de Cristal is a beautiful park located in the center of Porto. This lush green space offers stunning views of the Douro River and the city, as well as a variety of flora and fauna. Take a leisurely stroll around the park’s gardens, ponds, and fountains, and visit the Porto Botanical Garden, located within the park.
Admire the colorful tiles of Capela das Almas
Capela das Almas is a small chapel located in the heart of Porto. This unique chapel is covered in azulejos depicting scenes from the life of St. Catherine and the life of Our Lady of the Rosary. The blue and white tiles make for a striking and colorful sight, especially on a sunny day.
In conclusion, Porto is a charming city full of history, culture, and delicious food and wine. Don’t miss out on the city’s unique attractions like the Livraria Lello bookstore or the Casa da Música. And of course, be sure to indulge in the local port wine and cuisine. With its stunning views, fascinating history, and welcoming locals, Porto is a must-visit destination for any traveler.